Book Treats At Avondale Regional Library,
Branch Of Birmingham Public

July 18, 2001

The music blasted out "Tummy Tango" from the CD Kid's In Motion by Greg and Steve and the YD librarian at Avondale Regional Library, a branch of the Birmingham Public, moved to the words. She called out different shapes to scrunch or bend your body into - apples, donuts, spaghetti, pretzels – that included parents and children of all ages!

A story followed, (Sitting Down To Eat by Bill Harvey), and children held up delightful cut- outs and pretended to be a lion, alligator, hippo and tiger. At the end, to the surprise of the audience, a springy, striped caterpillar jumped out of a can!

More unexpected pleasures! The room was divided into seven food stations. The children visited these area for such yummy treats as lemonade, applesauce, chocolate chip cookies, jelly beans, goldfish, pickles and pancakes. Well, not exactly your normal menu but the children loved it, especially the syrup and mini-pancakes. One boy boasted that he ate 15 pancakes plus his other treats. How did this menu come about? These foods were tied into book titles, If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numerous, Jellybeans For Sale by Bruce Macmillan, Pickles to Pittsburgh by Judo Barrette, Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfizer, Lemonade for Sale by Stuart Murphy, The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutches, and The Mouse and the Apple by Stephen Butler.

When the children visited the food stations, they received a slip of paper containing a book title related to the food at that station. They had to match these book titles to illustrated posters on the wall. Of course, some were in need of a parent or librarian’s help to read the slip of paper, but there was plenty of help around! Following this exercise, parents were encouraged to check out books with food in the title and to prepare a meal around this idea.

Librarians are so good at making learning and reading fun and encouraging others to develop a love of books and joy of reading.

This is just a sample of the many monthly family programs that are available for all aged children at the Birmingham Public Libraries – Central and Branches.